FROM time to time, many of us spend hours scouring the web for cheap flights, great accommodation, restaurants and must-see attractions. How about being in the business of providing those kinds of services? The tourism and hospitality sectors are good areas to work for these days. Between 1998 to 2004, when the NDA government under Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee was in power, many landmark initiatives to promote tourism industry in India had been taken, as a result of which the sector saw rapid growth during the period of the NDA rule and we saw the creation of many new high-end travel and hospitality-related jobs.
Currently there exists a shortage of trained professionals in the travel industry. This has prompted travel companies like Thomas Cook and The Kuoni Group, which owns SOTC, SITA and VFS GLOBAL, to launch their own academies. The Kuoni Group is currently operating 15 centres across India – three in Mumbai, two in Delhi and Hyderabad, and one each in Chennai, Guwahati, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Kolkata, Bhopal and Jabalpur. Thomas Cook has two centres —in Delhi and Mumbai.
Government institutions like the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), an autonomous organisation of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, also offer education, training, research and consultancy in sustainable management of tourism, travel and other allied sectors to graduates and under-graduates. The DITTM (Delhi Institute of Tourism and Travel Management) has been established by Delhi Tourism to impart training to professionals for the tourism and travel industry. There exist a range of other private and public institutions offering degree and diploma level courses in travel and hospitality. You have to do a thorough research on the institutions before actually joining it.
There is simply no dearth of job opportunities in the travel industry. The working conditions are quite comfortable. You could be working in the front office of hotels, visa services, tourist information offices, airports, travel companies/agencies, cruise liners, national and international tourism boards, etc. It is also possible for you to find jobs in the BPOs who handle the back-end services of the airlines, online booking sites and other travel-related organisations.
To a large extent the management of travel-related tasks has moved into the online space, so there exist ample openings for those who are versed in IT. You could be working for online travel booking sites like Make My Trip, Yatra and others. The hotel industry, the transfers industry, make heavy use of IT for managing their operations. Students who want to make a career in this industry are advised to keep abreast of upcoming and large-scale avenues like pilgrimages, adventure, medical tourism, leisure and MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions).
On the whole, the travel industry can be a very exciting and often glamorous industry to work in. Along with getting a decent salary, you might also enjoy perks like friends and family discounts in hotel bookings or travel. Once you get some experience, you can even set up your own travel agency.
Courses and syllabus
DITTM provides graduates and undergraduates the opportunity of having a successful career in holiday and leisure management, covering travel industry, tour operation, transportation, accommodation and interpretation services. The institution has the approval of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and its major academic programme consists of an one year part-time Post Graduation Diploma in Travel and Tourism Industry Management. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission to the Diploma Course. The institute also provides courses in Air Travel Fare and Ticketing and Computer Reservation System (Amadeaus). Both these courses can be taken by students who have passed the 12th exams.
An autonomous organisation of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) was created in 1983. It is headquartered in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, with campuses in Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Nellore and Goa. The institution offers training, education and research in sustainable management of tourism, travel and other allied sectors. IITTM offers specially tailored tourism business management programmes besides offering a variety of training programmes for different stakeholders. The Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IITTM is approved by AICTE and is equivalent to an MBA.
The Kuoni Academy has an MBA course called International Master in Business Administration & Tourism Management. There is a Post-Graduate Diploma in Travel & Tourism Management. The Undergraduates can go in for Travel & Tourism Management courses. There is also a course in Airlines Global Distribution System, and a range of other diploma level courses. In Thomas Cook, students can have access to a range of well-conceived Undergraduate Courses, Post Graduate Courses, as well as IATA courses. Other than this, Thomas Cook also provides facilities for workshops, corporate trainings and tourism board trainings. The courses are designed in accordance to the present needs of the tourism industry, so you get the kind of training that will make you job ready.
Three crore new jobs in five years
The 12th Five Year Plan is targeting to have 12 million foreign tourist arrivals in India. This by itself could generate more than three crore new jobs in the tourism sector during the next five years. Due to rising middle class income, the domestic tourism market is also going to do well. According to estimates done by the Planning Commission, the tourism sector is the highest employment generator, as in this sector 78 new jobs get created for every Rs ten lakh investment. It is possible that the pay in the sector might not be as high as in other industries, but jobs in travel and tourism provide workers with an enjoyable atmosphere, flexible hours and opportunities to meet new people. This is a surely a great bonus.